Except for eight wounded security personnel, all of today’s casualties were among militant forces. At least 154 of them were killed and dozens more were wounded. More important news came from Turkey were dozens of hostages safely returned home.
Forty-six Turkish and three Iraqi hostages who were kidnapped when militants overran Mosul three months ago were freed today. Although there are few details about the release, Turkish intelligence agency M.I.T. insisted that no ransom paid nor had fighting taken place. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thanked the agency for working on the case for months and seemed to imply there was some sort of rescue operation involved. Previous attempts to rescue them had been called off due to battles. Among the hostages were Consul General Ozturk Yilmaz and his family.
Turkey also reported that over 66,000 Kurdish civilians have poured across the border from Syria since it opened to refugees Friday morning. ISIS/DAASH is pushing towards the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobane in Kurdish), and many villagers in the surrounding area have fled ahead of their advance. Over 300 Turkish Kurds have crossed back in the opposite direction to support security forces. They may belong to the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) or are otherwise unaffiliated. Iraq’s Peshmerga forces say they are waiting for a formal agreement with Syria’s Democratic Union Party before they can join the defense team.
At least 54 militants were killed in joint airstrikes in the Mahmoudiya and Yusufiya areas.
Twenty-five militants were killed during airstrikes in al-Jazira.
Security operations in Duluiya left 30 militants dead and dozens wounded.
Ten militants were killed in southern Baghdad.
Police killed six militants in Amiriyat al-Falluja.
In Muqdadiya, an airstrike killed an ISIS officer and two aides.
Operations in Jurf al-Sakhar left many militants dead.
Clashes took place in Garma.
Airstrikes took place in Saqlawiya and al-Sger.